The New Aetheism and Islam

William Emilsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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The rise of the new atheism in the first decade of the twenty-first century is mostly associated with four central figures: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and the late Christopher Hitchens. Other public intellectuals have identified themselves with the new atheism movement, most notably the literary figures Ian McEwen, Martin Amis, Philip Pullman, Salman Rushdie and ex-Muslim atheists, Ibn Warraq and Ayaan Hirsi Ali. This article argues that the 'new' in the new atheists' writings is not their aggressiveness, nor their extraordinary popularity, nor even their scientific approach to religion, rather it is their attack not only on militant Islamism but also on Islam itself under the cloak of its general critique of religion. The new atheist movement has contributed to a hardening of hostility towards Islam and may well have inflamed relations between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalExpository Times
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


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